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Nursing Resources : Understanding Predatory Journals

Need to know

The concept of predatory journal or conference invitations has grown exponentially over the past yew years. STEM fields, especially medicine and science, have been the victims of this practice. It is very important for the author/individual to investigate any invitation to submit a manuscript, attend, a conference or accept a position on an editor board from an unsolicited email.

Predatory journals are usually NOT peer reviewed, NOT indexed in databases (i.e. PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science), provide very little copyediting assistance, and almost impossible to locate any information on impact factors or citation counts, which are necessary for tenure.

What is a "predatory journal?"

The definition of “predatory open access publishers” offered by Jeffery Beall, who is quoted in the Chronicle article:

. . . are those that unprofessionally exploit the author-pays model of open-access publishing (Gold OA) for their own profit. Typically, these publishers spam professional email lists, broadly soliciting article submissions for the clear purpose of gaining additional income. Operating essentially as vanity presses, these publishers typically have a low article acceptance threshold, with a false-front or non-existent peer review process. Unlike professional publishing operations, whether subscription-based or ethically-sound open access, these predatory publishers add little value to scholarship, pay little attention to digital preservation, and operate using fly-by-night, unsustainable business models.

How to check for predatory journals?

Key indicators of the legitimacy of newly launched OA journals are:

Legitimate journals acknowledge their newly formed status and do not attempt to feign reputation by referring to false Impact Factors or inclusion of content in indexing and abstracting services.

Jeffery Beall, a librarian at Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado, previously maintained a comprehensive list of criteria which authors may use to identify potential predatory OA publishers. This list was removed in January 2017.

When in doubt, ask your library or mentor for assistance in determining the validity and legitimacy of an open access journal.